8.27.13 ~ Durham, North Carolina
dragonfly ~ 8.27.13 ~ Durham, North Carolina

Is it a mistake to look to the world to tell us the meaning of our plummeting lives? Maybe we all have the power to shape our own structure, the structure of our metaphoric wings, what lifts us — our character maybe, call it our spirit. We all in our own ways catch the light of the world and reflect it back, and this is what is bright and surprising about a person, this rainbow shimmer created from colorless structure. Maybe there is no meaning in the world itself – no sorrow. In fact, no good or bad, beginning or end. Maybe what there is, is the individual way each of us has of transforming the world, ways to refract it, to create of it something that shimmers from our spread wings. This is our work, creating these wings and giving them color.
~ Kathleen Dean Moore
(Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature)

Time seems to fly by so quickly, and yet, each day seems so long in the living. Especially in August. Please! One crisis at a time!!!

8.27.13 ~ Durham, North Carolina
8.27.13 ~ Durham, North Carolina

Near the end of August my sister and I finally and reluctantly decided that our aunt, who is 98, required more care than we could reasonably provide for her. The family doctor pulled some strings and found her a place in a “good” nursing home, much to our relief. She is now “settled in” there.

Our father, who is 91, is doing a little better, but is still on oxygen and remains very weak. So far my sister and brother-in-law feel they can manage him at home. He will probably never walk again, even with his walker… But I have to keep a watchful eye on my sister’s well-being – she has done more for the ancient ones than most people, including myself, would have or could have done.

8.31.13 ~ Durham, North Carolina
8.27.13 ~ Durham, North Carolina

At the end of the month I spread my wings and accepted my daughter’s invitation to fly to North Carolina to visit her and my son-in-law in their new digs. It was the first time I flew by myself, although I had a flash of insight on the plane – I wasn’t flying by myself at all – there were many other people on board, fellow humans all with their own ways of transforming the world. All of us one. The flights there and back were spiritual highs for me!

8.27.13 ~ Durham, North Carolina
Larisa at Sarah P. Duke Gardens
8.27.13 ~ Durham, North Carolina

Visiting Dima & Larisa for five days was wonderful! Very humid weather put something of a damper on outdoor adventures, but we had fun gardening in the early morning hours and decorating the living room and kitchen together one fun afternoon. We explored Durham in the air-conditioned car and talked and talked and talked. And had some great meals out and even better meals from their kitchen and grill. Had loads of fun taking pictures! I also came home with a lot of spider and mosquito bites for souvenirs. 🙂

8.31.13 ~ Durham, North Carolina
tropical quail (?)
Magic Wings Butterfly House at the Museum of Life & Science
8.31.13 ~ Durham, North Carolina

The trip did me a world of good – thank you so much for your gracious hospitality and welcoming arms, my wonderful kids!

8.31.13 ~ Durham, North Carolina
8.31.13 ~ Durham, North Carolina

16 thoughts on “effulgent”

  1. Glad you got away from your very heavy responsibilities of life for a bit … We all need a break once in a while.

    I didn’t know that North Carolina looked quite that tropical. Lovely.

    1. It was indeed a good break, Sybil. The tropical plants were in the butterfly house, a tall greenhouse of sorts. But the vegetation outside is much different the trees and plants we have here in Connecticut.

  2. I’m also glad that you managed to get away Barbara. Congratulations on flying by yourself. I love the photos in the garden especially the one of the tropical quail and the butterfly eating the papaya.

    1. Wasn’t that quail a handsome fellow? I have a post about flying solo stuck in my brain somewhere – it might be some time before I get it onto my blog, though. It’s nice to have so many pleasant memories of this trip.

    1. So nice to see you here again, Paul! I’ll have to get over to your blog and see what you’ve been up to lately.

    1. It’s nice to have a home away from home. I forgot to mention the evenings spent playing Settlers of Catan! 🙂

  3. Oh thank you for the update on your family and life, Barbara. I was truly enjoying the quote (such a good one) but also appreciated your news. Glad you were able to get away and visit your loved ones!

    1. You’re welcome, Kathy. It turns out a friend of mine from high school is living very near Dima & Larisa, but I didn’t know that until after I got home and she happened to read this this blog post! But she is coming here this weekend for her niece’s wedding and we will get a chance to catch up then.

  4. “The ancient ones”, oh such a lovely phrase to describe your loved ones, and how I hope to live to be ancient also. Look for the lessons during times of crisis, they will be there, and you will treasure them when they appear to you. You were very brave to spread you wings alone. Love to you. xxx

    1. Ancient seems to be the only word left to me to differentiate the very elderly (over 90 in my book) from the elderly – I’m happy you like it. Here we are with Tim starting to get senior discounts already… I’m not sure how long I’d like to live – depends on my health, I guess. But you’d make a lovely ancient one, Joanne. Of that I am sure! *hugs*

  5. Way behind on your posts, Barbara. Beautiful photographs and quote. I know how it is to care for “the ancient ones”. Glad you were able to find good home for your Aunt, and hope your father continues to improve. I am sure that your sister appreciates that you appreciate what she does for him. And wonderful that you were able to take such a happy trip. Blessings always. Diane XO ♥

    1. Thank you so much, Diane – I know you have your own ancient one to look after and I often think of you and your mom. Auntie seems to be settling in all right – she told us that she participates in all the activities so they won’t label her uncooperative. But we think she secretly enjoys socializing with the other people there. And now that our father has died the house feels very empty, but it will be good for my sister to have a chance to heal now. We miss him, but are relieved his suffering is over now. *hugs*

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